The story began back in April 1996 when Pat was working in her studio in Hong Kong, and heard a news item of no particular importance about the Handover of Hong Kong to China, which was to occur when the 99 year lease to Britain, the Second Convention of Peking of 1898, expired on June 30th 1997.
thought "What does the lease actually look like - physically?" Pictures
of extracts from the Treaty of Nanking of 1842, the first treaty between the two countries which gave Hong Kong to Britain 'in perpetuity', had turned up periodically, but nothing from the lease.
Unexpectedly, research revealed that apparently no-one in Hong Kong had a copy of it, so Pat went to London and, after some serious research, unearthed it. She found, to her amazement, that it was extremely beautiful; short, simple, bound in silk brocade and embellished with fine calligraphy, intricate chops, rich seals and stylish signatures, both in English and Chinese.
Armed with colour laser copies of the documents, which provided the truest quality reproduction in terms of texture and detail, she returned to Hong Kong, scanned them into her Macintosh computer and got to work.
For Pat, the breakthrough came when she discovered that the best artist's computer programmes include all the tools used by the production side of visual art which, until now, have belonged strictly within the domain of technicians. Because these tools have always been used for specific mechanical jobs, and have generally been kept out of the hands of creative artists, no-one has really experimented with them. Until now.
Quite simply, this work could not have been done by any other process. The artist has pioneered a fundamentally new tool, or working medium, within the world of Fine Art.
Yet there is nothing digital about the production of the Limited Edition, which was traditionally printed lithographically onto soft, hand-torn paper, embossed with the printer's seal and is produced as a Limited Edition of 97 pieces.
'Signed and Sealed' has been shown at six solo exhibitions in Hong Kong and exhibited in London.
"I used a computer,
not because I wanted to use the tricks that computers offer, but because
it was the only way to retain the original elements. If I had copied
the signatures, chops or textures by hand they wouldn't have been authentic.
I used colour separation techniques as part of the artistic process, even
more than I used the digital tools that are designed for that purpose."
Shircore, Interview in IdN
Magazine Vol.1 1998.